Seasoned Tampa Divorce Attorney Answers Common Questions About Divorce in Florida

Helping you understand your legal rights

Divorce can be emotionally harrowing, and dealing with the complex legal questions surrounding the division of assets can make the process even worse. At The Law Office of Mark G. Rodriguez, we provide the answers to even your most difficult questions . Meeting with one of our qualified Tampa divorce attorneys allows us to, review the specifics of your case, and tailor recommendations to your individual needs.

What Are the Grounds for Divorce in Florida?

Florida is a no-fault divorce state, which means that the only grounds for divorce include:

  • The irretrievable breakdown of your marriage (much like the irreconcilable differences that you may be more familiar with)
  • The mental incapacity of a spouse (which is rare but not unknown)
  • While your Florida divorce will not be based on fault, the judge can take your spouse’s marital wrongdoing into consideration when determining the terms of your divorce.

    How long will it take to finalize my divorce?

    Many divorcing couples wonder how long their divorce will take to be finalized, since the stress of divorce and living through that pre-divorce limbo are not things that anyone would want to prolong. Because every divorce follows its own distinct path, and because even the most amicable divorce can become contentious midway through, it’s impossible to say exactly how long your divorce will take. The following basics, however, generally apply:

    It is difficult to put a timeline on finalization of your divorce since every case is different. If you and your spouse are unable to agree on the division of assets, child custody and alimony, your divorce case could drag on for months or even more than a year. Six months is typically the minimum for a contested divorce where these issues are unresolved.

    If you and your spouse are in agreement about the division of assets, and you don’t have other complicated issues to be settled, such as child custody arrangements, your divorce could take as little as four weeks to be finalized.

    What do I have to do to file for divorce in Florida?

    Filing for divorce in the state of Florida requires that either you or your spouse must be a resident of the state for at least six months leading up to the filing. Active military members who are stationed outside Florida can still file for divorce in the state.

    You will also have to pay the filing fee, which is currently $408.

    Do I have to hire an attorney to represent me in my divorce?

    It is not necessary to hire an attorney to represent you, but it is advisable. A Tampa divorce attorney is an expert in the law and able to help guide you through the process to protect your rights and help you get the best outcome for your divorce settlement. An attorney from our firm will review your entire financial portfolio, including all debts and assets, and then create a strong argument to give you the assets you deserve, such as the family home where you intend to continue raising your children. By working with our firm, you will improve the chances of getting a settlement that allows you to continue living the lifestyle which you deserve and are accustomed,

    Can I stay in my home during the divorce proceedings?

    Many people believe that moving out of the home before the divorce is finalized means that they are abandoning a claim to the property. The truth is that your home is a marital asset, and it will be negotiated in the settlement whether you live in it at the time of the divorce or not. Both you and your spouse will continue to be responsible for the mortgage and upkeep of the home, no matter who lives in it, until a decision is made on how it is to be divided.

    You may not list your home for sale or take any other action on it until the divorce settlement is finalized.

    Will I get alimony?

    There is no easy answer to this question, and that is just one reason why you should always work with a Tampa divorce attorney to guide you through the process. The court will take into consideration the length of your marriage, your profession, your spouse’s profession, and other factors when determining whether to award alimony. Our firm will help you understand your likelihood of getting alimony and how much you might anticipate. At the Law Office of Mark G. Rodriguez, we will use our expertise to build your claim for alimony and try to get the best settlement on your behalf.

    Is Property Split 50/50 in a Florida Divorce?

    The State of Florida is an equitable distribution state, which means that your marital property won’t necessarily be divided right down the middle upon divorce. Equitable distribution means that your property will be distributed between the two of you in a manner that is determined to be fair, given the circumstances involved, which is not always equal division between the spouses.

    What if my spouse is abusive?

    Immediately call 911 if you or your children are in danger of physical harm. To deal with ongoing mental, verbal, emotional, financial or physical abuse, contact the Florida Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-500-1119 to find resources in your area to help you get housing, health care, and more.

    At our office, we have experience in navigating a divorce when domestic violence is involved, ensuring the safety of you and your children. We help with restraining orders against a spouse, temporary financial assistance, and aid in finding temporary housing solutions until the divorce settlement is final. Showing a pattern of abuse can also be instrumental in helping you get the best settlement possible, including retaining ownership of the marital home. No stone will be left unturned to secure the best possible child custody arrangement for the protection of you and your children.